Thank you very much for sharing this, good stuff. I am very jealous of you at the moment.
Mike Lantry, 1972
Hey MGoBloggers, just got back from a really fun event at Sunda in Chicago, the Illinois launch of TwentyFour wines from Charles Woodson. He took pictures with everyone, chatted with people, and we all had 4 glasses of different wines from their label. A few notes follow:
He's just a really nice guy. He holds C.S. Mott as a special place (which we already know) but he truly seems touched by his experiences there when he was a player and afterward. The proceeds from dinner and from the silent auction are going to his foundation which is tied to C.S. Mott. I picked up a signed authetic helmet. Pretty sweet swag I must say.
During question and answer session (about 50 people there), he talked about his time as Michigan. He felt his greatest football moment was his punt return against Ohio. He was asked if he was going to do the Heisman pose in the endzone, and his honest answer was yes, he wanted to do it, but he got mobbed by his teammates before he could. He said it turned out to be better that way b/c he feels the pose really was Desmond's moment, and the rose in the teeth is his. I agree with him 100%, I'm glad he didn't give the pose, although had he done it I'm sure we'd all look back at it and call it some sort of tradition.
Questions asked about his eventual HOF induction for the NFL and his Green Bay jersey retirement (good # of Packers fans at the event), and he was extremely humble saying he would hopes it will happen and would relish the events. He said he'd be speechless if the Packers retired his #.
Questions about winning a National Championship vs. a Super Bowl; he said at the time, since he's in college, there's nothing better than a NC, but once you get to the NFL, at that level, winning the Super Bowl is the best reward. Obviously a PC answer with a bipartisan crowd (almost tripartisan with a couple Raiders fans), but it was clear to me he has a lot of pride in winning that Super Bowl, but Michigan obviously has a special place in his heart.
Obvious questions about current team and coach. He said that, bottom line, Coach Hoke just cares about people and cares about his players. He's a no nonsense guy when it comes to that. He loves the kids and it's completely clear to every family he recruits that he loves the kids. That's part of what makes him so special. He said the turnaround in the team, even without "Hoke's" recruits, speaks for itself, and the excuses for the previous coaches (re: Rodriguez) not winning with Carr's recruits is, well, a swear word that I won't write out for Charles' sake. He said the biggest difference between now and the previous coach is, simply, flat-out coaching. It's better now than it was the previous 3 years. As with many former players, it's clear he loves where the program is and where it's going. Jarrett Irons also showed up and seemed to agree with what Charles said.
Question about being the "last" defensive player to win the Heisman. He laughingly corrected the guy and said he's the first and last defensive player to win it. Then he said he's sure another defensive player will win it eventually, but he's honored that he's been the only one so far.
As far as concussions and stuff, he talked at length about how he played flag-football from age 7, then started tackle at 11 or 12, and that's all he's really known in life. He feels like maybe he didn't take his education seriously b/c he knew he had the talent to get to the NFL. He laughed when he said he just recently found out how much more work he has to do to get his degree. He said a lot of guys just don't have the planning WHILE they're playing football for life AFTER football, and he's fortunate to have the wine stuff, the foundation stuff, and some other things to let him easily transition when he's done. Irons chimed in again and said the lack of association in the football fraternity is what causes so many guys to become depressed afterwards, not necessarily the hardship from lack of income and money and things like that. Charles seemed upset about Junior Seau's demise and doesn't think he'll end up that way. He said all those hits he's given and taken, he can't get them back, so he absolutely advocates what the NFL is doing to limit concussions and protect players.
I asked him directly when we were talking about the infamous fire. He said mostly stuff we already knew, but Rick (his wine partner who was also at the function) was the guy sleeping. Charles was up til at least 4 am, then saw the smoke. He woke Rick up, woke up his friend sleeping in a bedroom, and got them out. Others had already ran out as well. Someone there knew exactly how many people were staying at this 17,000 sqft house (Charles and Rick didn't know as they were out and came back late), so as Charles and Rick were running back into the house to get more people out, they were told the count was correct and nobody else was left inside. They watched the entire thing burn to the ground.
I asked him to play for our flag football team playoffs and he laughingly said he can't. We talked about a couple NFL guys who've injured themselves in the off-season and are probably going to lose some money. He's got 2 years left on his deal, so if he makes it 2 more seasons he should get a pretty decent contract afterwards (I think he'll be fine).
When asked about his Michigan jersey "retirement," he basically said, while smiling, "I'm not supposed to be talking about that." This leads me to believe he's gonna follow in Desmond's footsteps, yet again. Nothing we probably couldn't have guessed, but I'm assuming it means something this season. Maybe MSU? Illinois for homecoming? Nothing else seems worthy this year.
tl;dr, I know. Diary if it's deemed worthy. Thanks. Also, pardon mistakes, I've had too much wine. Goodnight.
Thank you very much for sharing this, good stuff. I am very jealous of you at the moment.
Great post! Sounds like an awesome event!
So I know this is an odd question after an entire post about a night with Woodson, but did he talk at all about having a distributor in Illinois, availability, pricing, ect.? Something tells me a bottle of TwentyFour will go over better than a bottle of Bo Merlot for a Michigan themed pairing.
No he didn't really. The vineyard manager Rick talked a bit about how it all got started and how to buy wines. Sunda is going to have them now. They sold 12 bottles at 150 a pop at the event. We wanted a bottle so he gave me his card and told me to just order from him. Long answer, but no specifics of distribution given. Maybe you could contact him? It seems like a small outfit so I doubt he would mind.
even after "too much wine". I did find this on their website, Illinois isn't on the list yet but there are multiple places to get your hands on a bottle in Ann Arbor.
Edit: Looking at the online wine selections for the five locations mentioned in Ann Arbor (and the shop online feature for Plum Market), none have anything by TwentyFour on their lists. Bummer, although maybe the lists are old or it's mostly off-menu.
He said Wisconsin, Michigan, California, and Florida (he lives in Orlando) are top states. Overall they have 13 states. I'd be happy to give you info on buying wine or their wine club, for which they have special events (which are most likely in napa, Orlando, or Milwaukee).
I like the Woodson information a lot. But I'm a wine collector too and would like to hear some more about what wines he is making and how they were.
It's about (2) blocks away!
Loves me some Woodson wine! How cool!
Man I wish I could meet him. Besides just having the honor of seeing him, I've got a '97 Rose Bowl Ball signed by everyone on the team except him and Griese
The irony here is that Griese dated a girl from my high school a few years older (but I was friends with her younger sister) and met him at my high school homecoming which I went back for when I was a freshman at u of m in 1997; and I met Woodson and had him sign some stuff tonight. If only we were Voltron, that football would be complete.
I met him the Wednesday before the '97 Ohio game when he was doing an interview at Good Time Charley's. My friend was the bartender and handed me one of the old, cardboard menus that Woodson signed for me. One of the coolest things I own.
Damn you stole my thunder. I was just about to say I wish he called it Two Wines to honor his time at M. Thanks for this writeup. CWood is and probably will always be my favorite player. That 97 defense was truly a thing of beauty.
Defense was one of the best ever. Quick, powerful, and non-stop. Loved watching them play. I wish we could have that D-line back now. Renes, Williams, Feazell, Hall were a great line.
Thanks for sharing that was a nice read. #2 is and always will be my favorite player.
And not only was he not the first two-way player to win the Heisman, he wasn't even the first Michigan player to win the Heisman playing on both sides of the ball. My rough estimate is that fully a third of all Heisman winners played on defense.
There's a difference between two-way players and primarily defensive players. He is the first, and probably only (for the foreseeable future) primarily defensive player. While you are correct, that seems like more of a technicality, and takes something away from the true greatness of his accomplishment.
I am trying to correct his off-the-field claim.
And in fact, I don't think my point is a technicality at all. Because while none of us can create different Heisman voting scenaria in reality, I do think it a reality that a great part of Woodson's attraction to Heisman voters was the fact that he also dabbled on the offensive side of the ball, in addition to special teams. In other words, that he was something of a throwback, to the early era of two-way Heisman winners, of which there were many for the first 20 years of the award.
Illustrative, if not dispositive, of that sort of voting attraction was the voting for Gordie Lockbaum of Holy Cross, a two-way player who finished third in Heisman voting in 1987.
The game was totally different back then. Obviously he wouldn't have won without his dabbling in offense and domination in special teams.
The trophy was first issued in 1935. Fritz Crisler did not unveil his "two-platoon" system (seperate offensive and defensive groups) until 1945. That obviously means that the first 10 winners played both ways, and likely more beyond that, as platooning took a while to catch on.
I don't think were really opposed in our viewpoints as much as it may seem. My point is just that saying he was just one of many two-way players to win it takes something away from the fact that he took the majority of his snaps on defense. Yes, he did play both ways, but he was primarily a defender, which makes him quite unique.
You seem to understand all of the historical nuances, better than Woodson. I think we can agree on the details of Heisman winners historically; and that Charles Woodson might occasionally say intemperate or unsupportable things.
Still pissed about that Snyder article, eh?
That he thought Rich got a raw deal, instead of saying things like "there's coaching now" he wouldn't have had any problem with it. (Newsflash Charles Woodson knows more about football than Section 1. Shocking to nobody but...Section 1).
I must say that the crowd was also hollering a little when the person said "last" defensive player. Woodson was a primarily defensive player, hands down. Lots of guys play special teams too these days, so I don't really consider that part. As for playing offense, it's totally a throwback. For him to be elite on D, return punts like mad, AND split his limited practice time with the offense, is truly a feat I don't think we've seen in the modern era and may not see again.
Q. - Which Hesiman winner had more interceptions in their senior year; DB/HB Tom Harmon, or CB/WR Charles Woodson? I really do not know the answer to this question. I think Harmon had 3 against OSU alone.
Considering Woodson left Michigan after his junior year, the answer is quite clearly Tom Harmon.
Both Harmon (no freshman eligibility) and Woodson played three years.
Woodson, the "primarily defensive player" had 8 interceptions in his last year.
"Halfback Tom Harmon" had 4 interceptions in his last year.
Pass receiving: Woodson had 25 catches for 402 yards and three TD's. No recieving stats for Harmon, but he threw the ball in 24 games, 233 times in his career, for 1354 yards and 16 td's but (ouch) 20 interceptions. Different kind of passing game, then.
Two great players. Two Heismans. Clearly, two 2-way players.
when will you figure out no one likes what you post?
...when will I care?
and are interested in only their own needs and desires sociopaths...
I DO have some cares; I care what Brian Cook thinks about what I write, and what John U. Bacon thinks. I care about what some of my friends who read MGoBlog think. I care very much, if Bruce Madej reads something that I write, and that I get it right in his exceptional view. There are many others. Just not you.
Or me. It was "no one"...which means everybody. So you might have to work on your snarky answers.
Like telling Woodson his (being paraphrased) misspoke about being a defensive player winning the Heisman, while then asking if he had more interceptions his senior year than someone else. Glass houses.
Im really jealous. C wood is my all time favorite Wolverine. I was in high school and really into football at the point where he was on fire (no pun intended). A great image of what all players should strive for. I really hope he comes back to coach at some point.
I'd love to see Charles come back to Michigan and coach. Think about that recruiting pull.
And Sunda is awesome. Sounds like a great event.
Bought several bottles of the first vintage when they released. Outrageously expensive, but pretty good juice (plush, polished, evidently oaked, with deep black fruits and severe tannins).
If you watch the replay, Woodson definitely is starting to make the pose when he gets mobbed. At about 1:52, you can see him extend his left arm like it's the stiff-arm of the trophy.
before he puts out his left hand, so I'd have to disagree since having the ball in the other arm is kind of important to the stiff-arm thingy.
I don't know . . . it does look for an instant like he's got the stiff arm and the extended leg of the Heisman pose. You don't have to be holding a football to strike the pose.
He intended to do the pose, but was too tired and got mobbed at the end. I'm glad he didn't. It was t the shoe-in Desmond was, and might have turned off some voters. Besides, the surprise over Manning was sweeter.
The only thing was is that people seem to forget is that Tennessee's coach (Fulmer) was soo mad about Manning not getting the Heisman, he got as many coaches as he could to not vote for Michigan as the #1 team in the coaches poll, which in turn saw us drop from #1 to #2 even though we won the Rose Bowl. I will always hate Fulmer for his spite and petty revenge that he enacted because his player didn't win.
The Packers' bye is when we play Northwestern at home, so that's probably Woodson's only chance to be honored this season.
As for the jersey, I don't think anything with it will happen until 2013. Hoke has stated previously that he wants V. Smith to graduate before doing any Legends jersey stuff for Woodson.
Had the pleasure in March of going to just such an event in Milwaukee at Bacchus. Fantastic wine with very different taste between vintages. Woodson was fabulous as host entertaining with stories, pictures and wine. Lots of Packer gear but not enough choice in Michigan stuff! Got the Packer helmet but am jealous of the Winged helmet you got! We love him in Packerland, he's been a hall of famer as a citizen and player.